The Four Nations competition was originally conceived to be a friendly inter photographic society competition and serves as a means of promoting a higher level of photography. This competition has been in existence for the past 20 years.
The participating photographic societies are:
- Australian Photographic Society
- Canadian Association For Photographic Art
- Photographic Society of New Zealand
- Photographic Society of South Africa
Each participating society contributes 80 images from 80 different photographs. The 80 submitted images are grouped into four categories:
- Monochrome (15 images),
- Nature (15 images),
- Open Theme (35 images)
- My Country (15 images).
The Monochrome and Nature categories comply to the strict specifications established by the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (FIAP). Whereas, the Open Theme and My Country categories permit unrestricted editing in the creation and enhancement of the submitted image.
Each society (country) selects their top images in each of the four categories and submits them to the competition host on June 24 of each year.
Each year, CAPA conducts 8 to 12 national photo competitions with entrants coming from over 1,000 CAPA members and photographers from over 100 camera clubs across Canada.
CAPA selects the top images from each of its competition and has an independent judging panel to re-score the images to select the very best images for CAPA’s submission into the Four Nations competition.
The competition host for each yearly competition rotates between the participating societies. Three internationally recognized judges from a country other than the participating countries view and score the images.
For 2023, the Canadian Association For Photographic Art (CAPA) is the competition host and the three international judges who reside outside the four participating countries.
A gold medal e-certificate is awarded to a photographer who receives the highest scoring image in each category. Three honourable mention e-certificates are also awarded for each category. The society which scores the highest cumulate total for all four categories is declared the winner of the competition.